IN SLIGHTLY more than a fortnight, the country will celebrate the Silver Jubilee of her National Day Anniversary on 23rd February 2009. It’s gonna be an auspicious and historical moment, definitely! 🙂
It is going to be much more meaningfully significant since this year’s National Day is being celebrated amidst national concerns on tragedies caused by nature’s heavy rains for the past couple of months. A few hundred Bruneians have been affected by big floods and landslides across the nation, including two fatalities. 😦 Internationally, too, our oil/natural gas-rich nation would be directly or indirectly affected by the worsening global economic and financial woes. Prudent spending would be the buzzword nowadays. On the other hand, Government spending and Foreign Direct Investments would have to be pushed through in robust passion, if only to stimulate the national economy.
This Silver Jubilee anniversary could be a make or break timeline in nationhood. Given the right dosage of will-power, both politically and economically, a turnaround would be a much-needed miraculous boost for Negara Brunei Darussalam.
The final outcome could only mean much more sustainable development, economic prosperity, political stability and a much more dynamic, innovative and progressive society. The societal and human resource development or the PEOPLE factor would certainly be the real catalyst for change in the country. Whatever E-Government progress has been and will be made would make quite an impact but won’t make that much of a difference IF there are no highly-specialised and skilled professional Bruneians to oil the machinery and engine of growth, in a manner of speaking.
The question to ask ourselves now is: Are we ready to change for the better? Are we all responsible enough to own up to the future generation because what we try to achieve today not only benefits our current national needs but more importantly it could form the basis or lay the foundation for future progress of the nation and her people. This is the crucial issue we as a nation need to take stock of — the quality of the RAKYAT or ordinary people — who can never be replaced by machines or computers, no matter how sophisticated and state-of-the-art the man-made tools are!
If we were to relate our state of the nation with that of the life history of our beloved Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam, at 25 years of age the Messenger of Allah had been fated and destined to be married to a wealthy 40-year old widow by the name of Khadijah Radhiallahu Anha.
So maybe, just maybe, in Brunei Darussalam’s case, we need to look for a lifetime partner in another more developed nation than ours which has the necessary experience and economic wealth to give us the necessary support and motivation to forge ahead toward ‘full Nationhood’ or maturity, say 15 years down the road. Why 15 years? Well, again to relate our situation to that of our beloved “Habibullah” (Peace be upon him), the Almighty granted him the Prophethood at age 40! 😉
Where am I going with the above equation of mine? I think it is high time for the country’s leaders to seriously brainstorm about the future direction of the nation. Yes, we do have the national philosophy of Melayu, Islam, Beraja or Malay, Islamic, Monarchy. And I am sure the top echelons of national leadership are only too aware of the nation’s Vision and Mission, I hope (although, I doubt many of the Rakyat including yours truly know of any). Still, we need to take stock of our capacity…
What I’m really getting at is do we all know where we’re heading as a nation within the global economy or amongst the international community of nations? What is our true Vision and Mission?
The only consolation is that we really should be grateful to our Creator for blessing us with a small dot on the world map on the tropical paradise of Borneo — a truly green peaceful country full of tranquility and sufficient abundance of natural resources — ALHAMDULLILLAH/SUBHANNALLAH (all praises be to Allah). May God the Mightiest Protector bless this Abode of Peace and the People! Amin Ya Rabbal Alamien. 🙂